Season 3 Episode 17

The Big Little Jesus

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Dec 24, 1953 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Good example, extremely tightly edited and an interesting study of how to make use of the television medium in the 50s.

    Smith and Friday race against time to find the missing baby Jesus from the Los Angeles Old Mission nativity scene.

    Woking out of the robbery division, the detectives have a baffling case on their hands. Here is one of those feel-good holiday episodes that show the humanity of all and it works in the fashion of the series. The opening dialog is amazing, especially the machine gun dialog of Friday and Smith talking about their Christmas shopping and the gifts they have bought for the women in their lives. You get the feeling that you could live twice as much of a life if you could only speak the way that "Dragnet" is edited. Its really quite incredible how the show is put together, questions and answers fly out of the mouths of all the protagonists. There is also an astonishing mixture of dead-pan moralizing with very realistic details like characters not hearing dialog and very believable telephone conversations.

    All this leaves time for a a long conclusion without much dialog, as an innocent hispanic boy returns the statue in a new red wagon given to him by kindly local firefighters - a scene with long camera pans and with full score of spiritual sounding music.

    Singular TV, there is nothing like this today, no matter how many series have been influenced by it over the decades.